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Stoner Kings Brimstone Blues

By Frank Meyer, Contributing Editor
Wednesday, July 17, 2002 @ 11:10 PM


(Massacre Records)

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I have a feeling that when Finland’s Stoner Kings chose their name that it was based more on the sedimentary force of actual stone than based on any bong-hit metal reference. While there are elements of Kyuss or Fu Manchu in their music, it stems mainly from a mutual love of Black Sabbath than any direct attempt to jump on the bandwagon. No, these boys ain’t trying to be coy or hip, this is some straight up heavy fuckin’ metal ala Saxon or Accept with some muscular Alice In Chains-style grunge thrown in for good measure.

The twin guitar attack of Wolf and Shank (great names, eh? very metal) harkens back to Priest and Maiden more then any red-eyed slacker rock band outta the desert. Bassist Gonzo and skinpounder Crash keep the rhythms fast and furious throughout the proceedings but toss in some mean grooves to keep things well rounded. Singer Starbuck is a former wrestler and could easily rival Jericho for best wrestling frontman. Hell, he ain’t even from Finland! He’s Canadian!!!! …And we all know Canada is the home of all real metal. Rush. Triumph. Lee Aaron. Chiliwack, Helix. Thor. Need I say more?

Most of this stuff is headbangin’ material but occasionally you can shake your ass to it too. “The Ebb and the Flow” swings right along with its monster groove before “Cosmic Dancer” comes charging in with its neck-breaking up-tempo fury. “Cobblestone Road,” with it’s detuned pounding riff and distorted vocals, might even appeal to modern metal freaks down with the Korn or System of a Down. “Goner” struts right along with its sleazy riff and stripper beat, while “Damn Delilah” and “Postmortem Blues” could fit right into the Entombed songbook; mad, mean hellstompers with plenty of piss and venom to spare.

Now I do have to question the logic behind having a song called “Stonehenge” that is not a cover of the Spinal Tap classic. The song is actually really good and reminds me of old school Scorpions, but covering Tap woulda been such a cool move.

All in all, a lethal package that is probably waaaay too heavy for your average skateboard toting “stoner” rock slacker, but will likely satisfy the true heavy metal fans who like to beat them up and steal their pot.

***1/2


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